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Sursurunga language

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Title: Sursurunga language  
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Subject: Grammatical number, Plural, Meso-Melanesian languages
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Sursurunga language

Region New Ireland
Native speakers
3,000  (1991)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sgz
Glottolog surs1246[2]

Sursurunga is an Oceanic language of New Ireland.


Sursurunga is famous for having a five-way grammatical number distinction. The numbers beside singular, dual, and plural have been called trial and quadral (Hutchisson 1986); however, these numbers, which only occur on pronouns, indicate a minimum of three and four, not exactly three and four the way the dual indicates exactly two.[3] They are equivalent to "a few" and "several", and Corbett has called them (lesser) paucal and greater paucal. The trial cannot be used for dyadic kinship terms, whereas the quadral is used for two or three such pair relationships.


  1. ^ Sursurunga at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Sursurunga". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Corbett, Greville G., Number, Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, P240.8.C67 2000, ISBN 0-521-64016-4
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